Tanki yoryaku hikoben [trans.: Illustrated Instructions for the Correct Wearing of Armor]. Masahiro MURAI.
Tanki yoryaku hikoben [trans.: Illustrated Instructions for the Correct Wearing of Armor].
Tanki yoryaku hikoben [trans.: Illustrated Instructions for the Correct Wearing of Armor].
Tanki yoryaku hikoben [trans.: Illustrated Instructions for the Correct Wearing of Armor].
Tanki yoryaku hikoben [trans.: Illustrated Instructions for the Correct Wearing of Armor].

Dressing for Battle

Tanki yoryaku hikoben [trans.: Illustrated Instructions for the Correct Wearing of Armor].

Numerous woodcuts in the text. 23; 22; 21; 20; 25 folding leaves. Five vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers (rubbed, a few leaves with dampstaining), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Edo & Kyoto: Taheibei Noda, 1729.

First edition and very rare; WorldCat locates only the 1837 edition. Murai (active 1729-54), was a mathematician and military tactician who wrote a well-known book on surveying — Ryochi shinan (1733) — which adopted European methods (see Smith, History of Mathematics, II, pp. 358, 359, & 614).

This finely illustrated work was one of the earliest books on armor to be published in Japan. It describes all the elements of a samurai’s armor and gives instructions on how to dress for battle. In the preface, the author laments that most samurai lack the knowledge of how to be properly equipped and protected when entering a battle. The author starts with undergarments, robes, trousers, foot gear, shin guards, armor for the body below the waist, hand guards, arm and shoulder armor, armor for the torso and upper body, how to tie the belt to secure the armor in place, shoulder guards, how to position the sword and its scabbard on the waist, head towels, helmets and masks (the masks are very scary), positioning the banners on poles of the soldiers and secured on their backs, spears, various other weapons like slings, clan vests to be worn over the armor, types of banners, ornaments for helmets, flotation devices, chairs for observing the battles, quivers, types of swords and daggers, armor to protect the throat, how to secure the helmet (many variations), how to dress quickly for sudden battles, etc.

The final volume describes all the parts of the helmet and the front and back armor, how to take care of armor in inclement weather, etc.

There is some limited worming, here and there, touching some text and images, but this is a nice set of an extremely rare work.

Price: $5,000.00

Item ID: 5585

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